A message from Kathy:
It’s been a while since I updated, so here goes. The past three months have been the best months for me since the transplant. Can you believe it has been ten months?? I have felt very physically well and much stronger. There still have been some challenges, but all in all life is very good. The most challenging thing has been the severe dry mouth symptoms and tasting food. Some foods taste exactly as they should, some taste weird, and some have no taste at all to me. The doctor says this will all get better over time, how much time, we don’t know.
I have started my studio art classes again twice a week, and I feel so blessed that I can do it. In December I wondered if I should even sign up. It was so wonderful to see all my art buddies again, they have been so supportive through all of this. I have even completed my first oil painting, a very small one, but I completed it. I can’t wait to complete more.
I only go to Hopkins once a month now for blood tests, so today was that day. And what a day it was! Remember a few months ago when I said that I was a chimera, meaning Kellie’s bone marrow had not taken over mine 100 percent? And the doctor said I may always have that split bone marrow? At the time it was 70 percent Kellie and 30 percent me. I was disappointed, but was resigned to the fact that this was how it was going to be from now on. Well —– I had another test done for chimerism last month and I got the results today. All my blood counts look great, and the best news of all is that my bone marrow is now 100 percent donor. Somehow in the past few weeks Kellie’s marrow has finally taken over. What wonderful news for us. Our prayers have been truly answered regarding this. I felt like I had won the lottery. What a blessing. I got a copy of the test results and it said “no evidence of patient DNA”.
Here is a weird question. If I am now totally Kellie’s DNA in my bone marrow, does that mean that I am now biologically related to Larry, since he is her father and she has half
his DNA???? I also now have her blood type, O Positive – and no longer my own which was A Positive. It kind of hurts my head to think about this stuff sometimes.
Now, since it is almost coming up on a year since the transplant, I will have to get another bone marrow biopsy the first week in May. That will tell us many things, but we are praying it says “no evidence of disease”. At that time I will also have to start getting my
childhood immunizations again, as well as a lot of other shots too. This will take several weeks. In the scheme of things I’m really only ten months old, and need to get all the vaccines again. We don’t quite understand this, because obviously Kellie was immunized against everything and I now have her marrow, but it’s doctor’s orders. I am
only taking two pills a day now, an antibiotic and an antiviral. I’ll be on them for probably another year. A lot less than the 40 pills a day I was taking last summer.
Anyway, Spring is really coming soon. Buds are on the trees and my tulips are coming up. Another beautiful season. I feel so grateful to everyone for all the prayers. You have all given me and my family so much support, and it has given me the strength to get through all this. Thank you. This time last year I was trying to prepare physically and mentally to go into the hospital. I marvel at how far I’ve come, but the journey continues. One day at a time, one step at a time, one hour at a time, taking nothing for granted, and enjoying every single day. Slowly but surely getting back onto the dance floor of life.